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Wednesday, October 20, 2004

K2K spells better test scores

Kid-to-kid communications, that is - iEARN-style (, the K-12, Internet- and project-based learning network connects about 1 million students in 25,000 schools in 109 countries, working on more than 150 projects in 30 languages). I'll get to what sort of project in a moment; the big news and surprise pay-off is what this Net-enabled collaboration is doing for students academically - in addition to the international understanding it fosters. According to iEARN's press release, teachers are seeing dramatic improvements in students' reading and writing skills when participating in K2K projects, especially at the elementary school level. A teacher in New Jersey has seen his 4th-graders' writing consistently score in the upper 1% in annual state exams. Pepperdine University professor Margaret Riel has done some early research on this, finding, for example, that one particular class, which started below grade level, gained an average of two grade levels from working on these collaborative network projects." Click to the release for further data. Some of these projects link students in as many as 12 schools as they work on a collaborative project. Teacher Kristi Rennebohm Franz facilitated a project by her 4th- and 5th-graders in which they sent "comfort quilts" to children in earthquake-devastated Bam, Iran. "As soon as they heard about the catastrophe ... [they] went to work on their project. Each child drew a crayon design, which was ironed onto a cloth patch and sewn into a quilt. They read Websites about how other schools were making quilts, including schools in Uzbekistan." Kristi started teaching with these projects in 1998 after Nicaragua was struck by Hurricane Georges. Thanks to TechLearning for pointing this news out.


Blogger Ed Gragert said...

Thanks Anne, for posting this information. If readers would like to learn more about iEARN, they can go to We can also send a free interactive CD about how to integrate online collaborative project work in classrooms or homeschool settings if anyone sends a mailing address to:

8:25 AM  

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